Miss USA 2021 Elle Smith: 5 things to know about Kentucky journalist who won the crown
Miss Kentucky USA 2021, Elle Smith, was named as the winner of Miss USA 2021 on Monday night, November 29 at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event was televised by A&E Network's FYI Channel where Smith outdid 50 other contestants including Miss Alabama USA, Alexandria Flanigan. Miss North Dakota USA, Caitlyn Vogel was the runner-up at the pageant, and Miss Florida USA, Ashley Bareto finished third in the competition with Miss Illinois USA finishing at the fourth position.
Smith will be based in Los Angeles as she begins her year-long reign as Miss USA. The pageant's website commented on the beauty queen's future plans, stating, "For the duration of her reign, she will be engaged in red carpet experiences, networking opportunities, professional photoshoots, speaking engagements and more." The update further read, "She will also have the opportunity to promote her personal platform alongside the charitable alliances of the Miss USA Organization.”
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5 things to know about Miss USA winner Elle Smith
Elle Smith is a multimedia journalist
The 23-year-old pageant queen is a reporter and works for WHAS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Louisville. She has been working full-time with them since October 2020. Prior to that she served as the Vice President of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from August 2019 till the time she took up the reporting job. Along the same time she was the Communication and Public Relations intern for the University of Kentucky where she acquired a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. She studied political science at the Florence University of the Arts. Her LinkedIn profile also states she was an intern for WLEX-TV for eight months starting January 2019 and a college associate for Fox News for four months starting May 2019.
“I see being a journalist in America today as an honor, and a role I take very seriously because it is such an essential part of our society. Each day is different and challenging, but I have the opportunity to connect with my community and share new perspectives," she said in a statement.
Elle Smith is drawn to raise awareness for cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is a cause that Smith is drawn to and she mentioned this in a statement for Miss USA. "My mother is a classically trained pianist, so I played viola, piano and sang. Music has been an integral part of my family life thanks to my late grandmother who sadly passed away in 2015 due to cervical cancer. She inspired me to advocate for cervical cancer awareness and prevention, a mission I will continue as Miss USA.” Speaking of her other interests, she stated, "In my free time, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants and attempting to cook. I would consider myself a creative, having grown up surrounded by all forms of the arts. My father is a photographer, so I love all things photography, videography and modeling (hello future career)."
Elle Smith's next stop: Miss Universe 2021
Smith was crowned Miss USA 2021 by 2020 winner Asya Danielle Branch. During the question and answer round, Smith revealed that her most important core value was honesty. She also called for businesses to be more environmentally conscious. "We've got to look at it from a macro and also a micro level," Smith said. "So at the macro level, companies need to switch to green energy — I think that's something we can all agree on." She is now heading straight to Israel for the Miss Universe 2021 pageant on December 12.
Elle Smith is NOT a pageant pro
"But then, at the micro level, we all know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and those are all things we can implement in our daily life," she added during the question and answer round. Her responses and stage presence may make one wonder that she has grown up doing this. However, she participated in the first pageant six months at the Miss Kentucky pageant before she graced the Miss USA stage for the first time on Sunday night during the stage costume contest. Smith repped Kentucky like a pro, turning up on stage as a jockey to honor the annual Kentucky Derby. Her outfit was blue and white, through which she also paid a tribute to her alma mater, the University of Kentucky.
Who is Elle Smith dating?
Elle Smith has found love and she isn't afraid to flaunt her happy relationship. She has generously shared beautiful moments with her boo and equally fuzzy captions to go with it on her Instagram feed. The recent photograph was shared some time at the end of September with Smith and her boyfriend who she hasn't ever tagged, gazing into each other's eyes by a waterfront. "Ain't nothing changed here," she wrote in the caption. She captioned a photograph which seemed to be taken during a date night, writing, "Look how the whole world is searching but I found mine."